Smithsonian Collections

Drum

Image for Drum
Data Source
National Museum of African Art
Label Text
Among the Asante and neighboring peoples, voluntary music associations provide entertainment for a variety of occasions, including weddings, funerals and festivals. Many of the motifs on his drums relate to Asante proverbs and refer to the qualities the society seeks in its members or to the society's relationship to the town. For example, the motif of the crescent moon and star states that while the star is more reliable, the changeable moon is brighter; musical fashions change like the moon.
On the front between the fastenings for the drumhead is the British coat of arms with the lion and the unicorn. The two circular recessed areas below the breasts could have held photographs, perhaps of British or local royalty.
Description
Wood drum with projecting female breasts, low relief carvings of animals and people on chip carved (triangles) background, rampant unicorn and lion over crown, and circular indentation under the breasts.
Provenance
Mr. and Mrs. Perry Linder, Chevy Chase, Maryland, -- to 1980
Exhibition History
The Stranger Among Us, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., March 24-September 7, 1982
Maker
Asante artist
Date
Early to mid-20th century
Credit Line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Perry Linder
Medium
Wood, hide, plant fiber, pigment
Dimensions
H x W x D: 102.6 x 68.9 x 47.9 cm (40 3/8 x 27 1/8 x 18 7/8 in.)
Type
Musical Instrument
See more items in
National Museum of African Art Collection
Object number
80-19-1
Topic
crocodile
Leadership
turtle
weapon
spider
gameboard
crescent
star
sankofa
Geography
Ghana